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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Farrier Jim Quick's Colorado Shop and Equipment Destroyed by Fire, Explosion

Fire and an explosion destroyed farrier Jim Quick's workshop in Niwot, Colorado on Sunday, June 5, 2011. This is all that remained.  (Jim Quick photo)
 Jim Quick is a lucky man. He has a good sense of timing, too.

He took a break from working on some tools Sunday morning. The well-known farrier clinician and competitor left his farrier shop in Niwot, Colorado to step onto his patio and speak to a neighbor for a few minutes. It would be the last time he'd set foot in that shop.

Jim Quick will still compete at Calgary
 Jim said, "I was running the power hammer and using a gas forge" before he shut everything off to speak to the neighbor. "We walked up to the house to sit on the patio when we heard a boom..." he continued. The blast was said to have sent a gas tank flying 100 yards in the air before it landed in a field.

According to a passerby quoted on Denver's Channel 7 ABC-TV local news, the shop caught fire and then exploded, eventually leaving behind just a few hulking metal skeletons.

Jim was mourning the loss of some of his favorite tools today, many of which were made for him or were gifts from great farriers and friends, living and dead, from all over the world. His Kohlswa anvil and some hammers survived the explosion and his shoeing truck was not damaged.

"The Practice Palace is gone," Jim Quick wrote on Monday after fire and an explosion destroyed his shop. (photo provided by Jim Quick)

"The Practice Palace is gone," he wrote on Monday. But even without most of his beloved special tools, he plans to keep practicing.

Looking at the calendar, it's easy math to see that Jim Quick has exactly 30 days left to practice for the Calgary Stampede World Championship Blacksmiths' Competition in Canada next month. He's promised he won't let his teammates down. I told him Monday night that he may be practicing under the stars, so it had better not rain for the next month.

He's a lucky man to be practicing at all.

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